Applications for round five of the Australian Government’s Remote Airstrip Upgrade Program have opened.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, said airstrips in remote areas are crucial pieces of community infrastructure.

“For many communities, air services are essential for providing mail, supplies, transport and medical services,” Mr Chester said.

“Improving the safety and capacity of airstrips provides major benefits to the thousands of Australians who would otherwise have to use slower or less reliable transport options.

“I would urge the owners and operators of any remote community airstrip who can identify a real need for an upgrade to make an application under Round Five.”

The 2015–16 Federal Budget allocated $33.7 million over four years to fund five rounds of works to improve the safety and capacity of remote airstrips.

In the last round, the Government funded 91 upgrade projects across the country, including the  $1.5 million for the reconstruction of the Bathurst Island aerodrome in the Northern Territory.

Applications for round five are open until 20 October 2017.

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